Focus Stacking

This is a discussion on Focus Stacking within the Still Life forums, part of the PHOTO GALLERIES category; Wasn't sure about posting this here or in "Experimental". It is a still life, but done a little differently. I used a Cam Ranger device, ...


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Thread: Focus Stacking

  1. #1
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    Focus Stacking

    Wasn't sure about posting this here or in "Experimental". It is a still life, but done a little differently. I used a Cam Ranger device, and one of its' software features is the ability to take multiple shots varying the point of focus automatically. You use Live View to select the starting focus point in the setup, then tell it how many images to shoot and the distance between focus points. Unfortunately, you can't specify that distance exactly; you get to choose Small / Medium / Large gaps between shots. So you have to guess at DOF and how many shots to take. It does hesitate long enough between shots for the speedlights to recycle. For this setup, I started with the bottom corner of the closest box, small gaps, and 39 photos. Then used PhotoShop CS6 to load into a stack, then merge and blend the images. There are a few "issues" with the PS merge and blend that may be corrected in dedicated focus stacking software, but in this setup those problems are hard to see, so it worked out okay. Not a spectacular photo, but a nice experiment for me. I wanted it tack sharp from the front edge all the way back to the toe of the 22 magazine. A depth of field I cannot achieve with the lens I have. If you use dedicated focus stacking software, and like it, please chime in with suggestions and "where to buy".

    Colt 45 with ACE IMG 1845-1884 Size 1536 by Jerry R, on Flickr


  • #2
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    I use Helicon Focus software. With camera on a rail by Manfrotto once I focus on the closest point I then just move the camera a mm closer with each shot until all the shots that are needed are taken. It could be 50 or 60 or more shots. I havent done it often but here is one of my first attempts.

    Name:  Walther1HFLR2OOB.jpg
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  • #3
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    Very nice. Just a little confused though. I always "assumed" that if you move the camera closer, the image positioning and size would change. That's why I never tried that. While just getting into stacking, I have left everything in a fixed position and just changed the focus points.

    I like your Walther, and I like the 3D effect of the image. Nicely done. How many layers in post processing?
    Last edited by Jerry R; 06-19-2016 at 01:41 PM.

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    Ya Im not sure about which method is the best....moving the camera, or refocusing. In my case moving the camera seems to work as you can see. The 3D effect is called an OOB (Out Of Box) image. If you google OOB it will be fully explained how to make one.

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    Thanks for the tip - very much appreciated.

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    I don't think this one turned out as nice as yours, but for a first attempt ...

    Glock OOB Image Stack by Jerry R, on Flickr

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    Looks great to me Jerry. Definately 3D. Not bad at all for a first shot. (pun intended)

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    Thank you Sir - much appreciated.


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